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dogma
XYZ
Premium
join:2002-08-15
Boulder City, NV
kudos:1

Californians brace for 59% Health Care premium hike in March

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- One of California's largest health insurers - Blue Shield - announced plans to hike its premiums by as much as 59%.

The jacked up premium rates are set to take effect on March 1, pending review from state insurance regulators. The move impacts 193,000 individual Blue Shield policy holders.

[However] Under California law, the state insurance commissioner has no authority to reject excessive premium increases.

...the company said, "our individual market medical costs are rising rapidly due to higher provider prices, increased utilization, and the fact that healthier people are dropping coverage during a bad economy,"

Since California has the largest number of uninsured people of any single state, about 7 million, Heller said the state cannot afford to have even those people who have insurance drop it be cause of rising premiums.

"By jacking up rates, insurers are pushing people off their rolls and are undermining efforts to get more consumers access to healthcare," he said. "Insurance companies only want customers who can pay the premiums but don't want to pay their claims."
~ »money.cnn.com/2011/01/07/news/co ··· m?hpt=T2

Before I bailed, my families Blue Cross Med coverage was about $700/Month. A 59% hike would have meant $13,356/year. Since these premiums are paid with post-tax dollars, that would mean earning about $18,000/year just for medical coverage alone for a family of 4. This excludes the $3,000 deductible.

Good thing all the folks in Sunny California are filthy rich.


TearAbite
D'oh

join:2001-07-25
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
kudos:2
Good thing Blue Shield isn't the only company to choose from... Also, note that Blue Shield and Blue Cross are not the same..
--
Don't blame OS X users for YOUR poor choice in an OS...


No_Strings
Premium,MVM,Ex-Mod 2008-13
join:2001-11-22
The OC
kudos:6
reply to dogma
* still hoping for change, two years later


dogma
XYZ
Premium
join:2002-08-15
Boulder City, NV
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by No_Strings:

* still hoping begging for spare change, two years later

Fixed
said by TearAbite:

Good thing Blue Shield isn't the only company to choose from... Also, note that Blue Shield and Blue Cross are not the same..

Are you suggesting that California's other health insurers are waiting with baited breath to acquire BS's (...hey! That's the acronym okay?) sickest, highest risk, most expensive soon-to-be-ex customers?


TearAbite
D'oh

join:2001-07-25
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
kudos:2
I am saying that nobody is being forced to use BS.. However, if i am wrong, please set me straight...
--
Don't blame OS X users for YOUR poor choice in an OS...


dogma
XYZ
Premium
join:2002-08-15
Boulder City, NV
kudos:1
Nobody is "forced" to buy gasoline from Chevron either, yet somehow all of the other gas companies are priced within 0.002% of each other. Always.

It's like, ...it's like they aren't really competing with each other, it's almost like they know how each other plan to price their product ... ahead of time.

Gee, you know it's funny. When I go to various outlets to buy a car or a TeeeVeee or a computer or even cell service or something, the price varies as much as 50% for the exact same item. But when it comes to some things like gas, health insurance, car insurance, prescription drugs, and the like, somehow all of the providers prices are always almost exactly the same.

Funny how that always works out like that.


jig

join:2001-01-05
Hacienda Heights, CA
actually, the only people who will leave blue shield are those that are healthy and can easily get individual insurance elsewhere. or has the no-preexisting condition mandate taken effect?

either way, BS is just excising business, for whatever reason. sure, some poorer people with health problems will be forced out, but i doubt they'll constitute an overall gain when the healthy ones jump ship.

i'm blue shield, through the USC PPO. I'm not sure if this will apply to me or not. however, i bought in a few months before i had appendicitis, so i'm well ahead of the game even after the premiums go up (if the game is limited to BS and the short time i've been paying them, as opposed to my lifelong payments of health insurance, what my parents paid for me, etc).

overall, i've been very healthy. i've needed glasses since 6th grade, but the only bad hospital stay other than the appendectomy was paid for by someone else's car insurance (and my parent's car insurance added a bunch on top of that, though we weren't in any of my family's cars and i wasn't driving or otherwise the cause of the accident, as far as i've been told).

anyway, back on topic. remember back that BS was the one that helped push through heath care reform by threatening almost the same rate hike. this may be more similar to that, than not. the problem with that idea, though, is that the "you must have health insurance" mandate is being attacked in the courts, not in congress (well, congress can't do anything about it, not with the senate the way it is), and so i'm not sure who BS might be sending a political message to. i suppose judges see political messages too, but the bang/buck is a lot less when you compare it to the monkeys in Congress.

you'll have to help me out: more a political message, or more a business decision to exit CA?
--
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.


dogma
XYZ
Premium
join:2002-08-15
Boulder City, NV
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by jig:

actually, the only people who will leave blue shield are those that are healthy and can easily get individual insurance elsewhere. or has the no-preexisting condition mandate taken effect?

BS's most healthy premium payers are BS's most prized profit centers. The way I read this is BS is chucking it's most unhealthy customers. Culling the heard so to speak.

The health care reform bill outlaws denial of insurance to those adults with preexisting conditions (Children can not be denied as of September 2010). But this change won’t take full effect until 2014. But read that again. It outlaws denial of insurance. It doesn't outlaw pricing premiums for those with preexisting conditions at unaffordable levels.

The Health Care Reform bill trades tens of millions of new customers who will be forced by law to buy health insurance from insurance firms – in return for compensation for accepting customers with preexisting conditions. Which can be an expensive drag on profits.

The Health Care Reform bill also mandates States set up "Exchanges"; The exchanges are meant to be cooperatives that allow individuals without company group insurance to band together and, for health insurance purposes, become like their own big firm.

These State run exchanges will be prohibited from setting premiums. They can, however, ask insurers to justify rate hikes – and if they’re unsatisfied with the answer can use price as a reason to ditch that particular plan from their product lineup.

But again, no where is there anything that regulates pricing. As a matter of fact, it seems the legislation incentivizes health insurers to preemptively increase premium prices in anticipation of the full implementation of the reform act. The first price plans that come into the Exchanges should be the highest possible, from a business POV.

Although the Teahadist mistakenly considered this legislation "socialist", the government doesn't help pay for or underwrite anyone that it's already not paying for. However, they can now fine those who can't afford insurance ... the working poor.

By omitting either heavy-handed price regulation, or a competitive single-payer government based option, this bill has effectively resurrected landed aristocracy.


sholling
Premium
join:2002-02-13
Hemet, CA
kudos:1
reply to dogma
With all of the new requirements and mandates I'm just shocked that anybody is shocked.


jig

join:2001-01-05
Hacienda Heights, CA
reply to dogma
said by dogma:

BS's most healthy premium payers are BS's most prized profit centers. The way I read this is BS is chucking it's most unhealthy customers. Culling the heard so to speak.

meaning that individual purchasers are by majority the least healthy? sorry - i'm not following, unless that's the assumption?
--
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.


sholling
Premium
join:2002-02-13
Hemet, CA
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to dogma
Sometimes (just not often) wisdom comes from the mouths of liberal journalists...

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0f0xrLM ··· embedded

--
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
--FREDERIC BASTIAT--


brian
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Lake Forest, CA
reply to dogma
my health care premium (not BS) DOUBLED this year. and I'm a state (UC; non-union (thank your-deity-of-choice)) employee.


aztecnology
O Rly?
Premium
join:2003-02-12
Murrieta, CA
reply to dogma
My family size increased and my health care premium went down for this year, saving about $40/month as I recall...
--
.:|:. aztec being aztec...™


jig

join:2001-01-05
Hacienda Heights, CA
reply to jig
oh, and i may have been wrong - BS wasn't the entity that threatened to raise rates before the health care reform, it was BC, right?
--
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.


AbBaZaBbA
Premium
join:2002-07-10
Wildomar, CA
kudos:4
reply to dogma
As I said before. Shocking. The health care companies were on-board before it passed so WTF did you expect?

We need a canada-like system. Yes it's not perfect but if done PROPERLY costs can be cut significantly with minimal sacrifices.


No_Strings
Premium,MVM,Ex-Mod 2008-13
join:2001-11-22
The OC
kudos:6
Surely you're not suggesting that the current plan which forces people to buy from established monopolies is flawed in some way.


sholling
Premium
join:2002-02-13
Hemet, CA
kudos:1
reply to AbBaZaBbA
said by AbBaZaBbA:

As I said before. Shocking. The health care companies were on-board before it passed so WTF did you expect?

We need a canada-like system. Yes it's not perfect but if done PROPERLY costs can be cut significantly with minimal sacrifices.

Canadians come here when they get tired of waiting months for tests and treatment - so where would we go? Second when was the last time that you are aware of that the government provided non-defense service in a "done properly" cost-effective manner? They fubared K-12, they fubared the state employee retirement system, they fubared the social security (Ponzi) system, they've fubared everything that they've touched.
--
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
--FREDERIC BASTIAT--

hoyleysox
Premium
join:2003-11-07
Long Beach, CA
said by sholling:

said by AbBaZaBbA:

As I said before. Shocking. The health care companies were on-board before it passed so WTF did you expect?

We need a canada-like system. Yes it's not perfect but if done PROPERLY costs can be cut significantly with minimal sacrifices.

Canadians come here when they get tired of waiting months for tests and treatment - so where would we go?

Mexico


dogma
XYZ
Premium
join:2002-08-15
Boulder City, NV
kudos:1
reply to sholling
said by sholling:

Canadians come here when they get tired of waiting months for tests and treatment - so where would we go?

Perhaps you mean: "Where do we go?"

Medical tourism!
said by wiki :
Medical tourism is the rapidly-growing practice of traveling across international borders to obtain health care. Over 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry.

Services typically sought by travelers include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available.
I need some extensive dental work. It would cost me about $12,000 here in the US. I can go to India and get it done for less than $5,000...including travel and accommodation cost.

Before you say "Them dang fer-in born doctors ain't as good as good 'ol American doctors..." Heres some facts:

• 25 percent of all doctors practicing in the United States are educated abroad.

• Of patients with congestive heart failure or acute heart attack in Pennsylvania who were treated by either a U.S.-trained or foreign-trained doctor. Patients of foreign-born international medical graduates had the lowest death rates.

fact source: »in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia ··· 20100803


sholling
Premium
join:2002-02-13
Hemet, CA
kudos:1
said by dogma:

Before you say "Them dang fer-in born doctors ain't as good as good 'ol American doctors..." Heres some facts:

• 25 percent of all doctors practicing in the United States are educated abroad.

• Of patients with congestive heart failure or acute heart attack in Pennsylvania who were treated by either a U.S.-trained or foreign-trained doctor. Patients of foreign-born international medical graduates had the lowest death rates.

fact source: »in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia ··· 20100803

That's all well and good but it doesn't do the average soccer mom waiting 6 months for tests and treatment for breast cancer a heck of a lot of good. It also assures that no newer better treatments will make it into common use in the US.
--
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
--FREDERIC BASTIAT--


SOLdesign
Did I drink a shot of Irrational Whore?
Premium
join:2002-07-29
Woodland Hills, CA
reply to dogma
March 1? nope, BShield increased as of Jan. for me, not 59% but a pretty hefty increase.

btw, mine is not near $700. What did your employer contribute? and our deductible is $1500 (90/10 PPO plan)
--
If sexy's the goal, I'm the hat trick.